Keeping an ammonia-refrigerated cold storage facility running smoothly is a complex task. Concerns about safety, oil absorption and the need for machinery to run for long periods of time provide unique maintenance challenges.
It can also be quite costly when you run an operation as large as Confederation Freezers. Confederation Freezers is located in Brampton, Ontario and has undertaken the challenge to provide a reliable and stable cold storage for customers since 1974.
It operates three facilities totaling over 500,000 square feet in good working order. The Mycom and Frick screw and reciprocating compressors used by the company have very fine tolerances, and in order for them to work effectively the oil used must be of the highest quality.
During routine inspections of the company's equipment, they discovered excessive wear in the Frick and Mycom compressors, and shrinkage of O-rings around mechanical seals. The oil the company was using was breaking down, clogging filters and causing damage to the machinery.
Problems of this kind can cause the eventual breakdown of equipment, resulting in unscheduled downtime and requiring compressors to be drained and repaired.
Fred Leonenko, chief operating engineer, Confederation Freezers says, "We had just installed five new Frick and Mycom screw machines in a brand new facility and we were using the equipment manufacturer's oil, but I wanted to change the oil because it was breaking down."
"I contacted Petro-Canada to see what they could offer.
"They brought in their engineers, did an analysis, and recommended that we change to REFLO 68A."
Leonenko explains that the change to REFLO 68A has allowed his machinery to run more efficiently with less noise, and with a substantial reduction in oil consumption.
Oil that works efficiently results in less waste and leakage. REFLO 68A also has extremely low solubility in ammonia, resulting in reduced oil consumption due to a lower oil carry-over. With the switch to REFLO 68A, the company has also been able to extend its drain intervals by 90 per cent.
"My oil consumption is down about 90 per cent from where it was before because REFLO 68A is not easily absorbed into the ammonia," explains Leonenko.
"I wholeheartedly recommend REFLO 68A – the oil is meeting my needs extremely well and I am saving money because my oil consumption is way down. I am also able to prolong the time between oil changes, to about one year for the older machines, and up to two years for the newer ones. With my previous oil, I was conducting change-outs every couple of months."
"When it comes to oil, cleanliness is next to godliness," states Leonenko.
"You need a clean oil because the tolerances are so fine, and if you have a dirty oil, you are going to wear your machinery out. For the integrity, safety and long life of my machines I chose REFLO 68A from Petro-Canada and it has not let me down."
Petro-Canada's REFLO 68A is approved for use by most refrigeration OEMs, including Vilter, Mycom, Sabroe, Sullair, Howden Cimco, and A.P.V. Baker – to name a few.